A company's impact on society will play a more significant role in attracting and retaining talent as a new generation of employees enters the workforce, according to new survey of over 600 high school seniors conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp).
This new generation—dubbed Gen Z—presents several unique challenges to corporations. As highlighted in other i4cp research, an evolution of the workplace is underway and companies must adapt to remain competitive. The emergence of a generation—the 73 million-strong population born between 1995 and 2012—that has never known a world without the Internet, or even mobile devices, is a contributing factor to this evolution.
i4cp's new white paper Generation Z: What Employers Need to Know reveals seven personality traits that define Gen Z and four implications for employers. The white paper is the culmination of a collaborative study with generational expert and author David Stillman and a focus group of seniors at Minnetonka High School, Minnesota.
Awareness of the ideal employer of choice being socially and environmentally responsible began with Gen X, and Millennials carried this theme further. Now Gen Z is taking these themes to new levels but with a significant nuance. They also will look to the companies they work for to play significant roles in moving the needle on issues they care about. In fact:
- 72% of Gen Z survey respondents said that corporate responsibility is very important to them.
- And even more significant, 93% of Gen Z says that a company’s impact on society affects their decision to work there.
Just as when Gen Xers and Millennials lobbied for recycling bins in the employee cafeteria, Gen Z will be lobbying for new ways corporations can collaborate with the globe. Where Gen X and Millennials focused more on purpose than profits, Gen Z is focused on finding the intersection of purpose and profit. It will be with the rise of the social entrepreneur when sustainability truly means finding the right balance between people, profits, and planet.
The evolution is underway. Become an i4cp member (if you aren't already) to download the white paper and see all seven personality traits of Gen Z employees.